I'm in a master's program and have already completed my bachelor's, which is the only formal requirement for doctoral study for my program. The first semester went great and I received top marks. This semester, however, I suddenly became gravely ill (to keep it brief: COVID infection triggered a severe chronic health issue), and have been struggling to keep up. I've been committed to doing the work and have been working with several doctors, so I haven't wanted to tap out, but now I am concerned about my capacity to complete my course. The department is encouraging me to take a leave of absence before my dissertation due date that would (1) preserve my first semester work entirely and (2) allow me to renter next January, with no penalty, to complete the course.
The problem is that I was recently admitted to my dream PhD program, with full funding and an amazing stipend package. It is for the 22-23 year and I obviously mentioned my master's studies in my application.
Do you think it would be possible for me to defer this program for a year, during which time I would finish the second semester of my one-year masters? I know it's a loopy situation but the problem is medical (I have ample documentation), and I am only just realizing that my treatment plan may not be enough to get me through the semester. I am wary of continuing with the course only for things to worsen and to be unable to complete my final assignments.