I joined a phD program in my home country (third world) earlier this year, after finishing a Ms in a top-5 university in the US. My country's government required me to come back to my country after the Master's, so I didn't even consider applying for a phD outside.
The situation now is as follows: my research received zero funding so far, mostly due to my research field being non-existent in my current university, even though it's the field I listed in my phD application. I spent the last 7 months on a personal project and managed to publish a paper, however my relationship with my adviser deteriorated once he "found out" that I didn't list him as co-author (it didn't even cross my mind since I've met him less than a dozen times during the whole year and he didn't know what the project was about). I also had to use my own money to do such project.
I'm now decided to quit the phD and apply for a top-5 university in US. I've read that a strong recommendation letter from my original adviser is almost a requirement to change phD programs - not having that would make the department I'm applying to to see me as a quitter. Obviously I don't think I can get such letter.
Is there any way for me to save my academic career? I got straight A's (GPA 4.0) during my Master's, the last thing I want is to bury my academic career now.