Grayson Arroyo-Smiley, the son of Real Housewives of Orange County alum Slade Smiley, died on Sunday, February 5. He was 22.
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Grayson’s mother, Michelle Arroyo, confirmed the news of her son’s passing via social media on Tuesday, February 7. A cause of death has not been revealed, but according to Arroyo’s support website, Grayson was first diagnosed with brain cancer in 2006 — just three days after his sixth birthday.
“I’m heart broken to share that my sweet Gray passed away Sunday night. It was very unexpected as last week he had CSF drawn from his shunts and they adjusted the valve setting of his shunt and he was doing much better,” she wrote via Instagram alongside a photo of her son. “We were still struggling with his diarrhea and I was giving him potassium 3 times a day because it was dropping so low. His heart stopped here at home and I performed chest compressions to get it going until the paramedics arrived and took over. When he left for the hospital he looked good and was breathing on his own but his heart gave out again at the hospital.”
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While Arroyo said that she doesn’t “have all the answers now,” she shared that Grayson had been dealing with “fevers, infection and low potassium” for the last few months and that “most likely took a toll on my sweet boys heart.”
She continued, “I’m still in shock and going through the motions of dealing with all the details. I know Gray is playing cards with Gramma and playing Trouble with our beloved Diane. His dog Mo is right at his side as he never left him. #prayforgray #amazinggray #believeinmiracles #lovemygray #captaingraythelord.”
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Following the heartbreaking news, Smiley’s fiancée and fellow RHOC alum Gretchen Rossi — who shares daughter Skylar, 3, with the actor, 49 — honored Grayson with a touching tribute.
“Our rational minds told us this day might come, but our hearts always held onto the hope that this day would not come to fruition 💔,” the Bravo personality, 44, captioned a carousel of images of Smiley and his son. “We are beyond devastated and heartbroken over the loss of Gray. Grayson Arroyo-Smiley was such a special human being.”
Rossi referred to Grayson as “an angel on earth” and “an incredible warrior” before detailing how the California native managed to stay positive despite struggling with his health for the majority of his life.
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“He fought every day through his pain and discomfort to find joy in the smallest of things,” she shared. “He was always singing & dancing & laughing despite his circumstances. He was a true beacon of light and hope.”
She ended her post by asking for privacy as the family “mourns this unbearable loss” together.
“This isn’t goodbye but rather see you soon little man…..We love you Grayson. You will forever be in our hearts ❤️. Love your Dad, Gretchen & your sister Skylar Gray,” she wrote.
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