Slade Smiley‘s beloved son has died.
The Real Housewives of Orange County alum and the rest of his loved ones are mourning this week after it was just revealed that Grayson Smiley-Arroyo passed on Sunday night. The young man had been suffering for years with brain cancer prior to his death. He was just 22 years old.
On Monday night, Grayson’s mother Michelle Arroyo revealed the heartbreaking news on her Instagram account. Grayson had first been diagnosed with cancer way back in 2006, so the family always knew of the severity of the situation. But according to Michelle’s heartbreaking commentary, it seems like his death this week was surprising in its suddenness.
Writing about Grayson’s latest hospital stay and health procedures, Michelle indicated his passing was “very unexpected.” She recounted how he had just gone in for a spinal fluid draw and, at first, was doing well:
“I’m heart broken to share that my sweet Gray passed away Sunday night. It was very unexpected as last week he had CSF [cerebrospinal fluid] drawn from his shunts and they adjusted the valve setting of his shunt and he was doing much better. 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.”
First responders rushed in and took Grayson to the hospital. Sadly, as Michelle explained, “his heart gave out” while doctors worked to stabilize him. From there, grief overcame her as the reality of his death flooded in:
“When he left for the hospital he looked good and was breathing on his own but his heart gave out again at the hospital. I don’t have all the answers now, but I do know that the last few months with fevers, infection, and low potassium most likely took a toll on my sweet boys heart. I’m still in shock and going through the motions of dealing with all the details.”
As we noted (above), Grayson had been bravely battling brain cancer for years. His diagnosis came just three days after his sixth birthday back in 2006. He, Michelle, Slade, and the rest of his extended family have been fighting the illness ever since.
Following Michelle’s crushing announcement, Slade and his fiancée — former RHOC star Gretchen Rossi — are among the many people mourning Grayson. Gretchen took to her own Instagram account on Tuesday night and wrote about Grayson’s death. She asked for privacy for the family during this difficult time, but also did offer a remarkably poignant memorial for the young man gone far too soon:
“We are beyond devastated and heartbroken over the loss of Gray. Grayson Arroyo-Smiley was such a special human being. He was an Angel on this earth and an incredible warrior…a warrior like no one has ever seen before. He fought everyday through his pain and discomfort to find joy in the smallest of things. He was always singing & dancing & laughing despite his circumstances. He was a true beacon of light and hope.”
The 44-year-old reality TV veteran continued:
“Although his life was cut short on earth he made an incredible impact on so many people. The Lord knew his life had purpose and would touch many along the way. We are forever grateful for the many lessons learned from this little man, and will miss his beautiful spirit immensely. May the Lord hold him in his hands, renew his broken body, and give him life again. This isn’t goodbye but rather see you soon little man…..We love you Grayson. You will forever be in our hearts.”
You can see her full post (below):
Our hearts break. He was so young — and had spent so much of his life fighting this awful cancer.
We send our love and condolences to Michelle, Slade, Gretchen, and everyone else who knew and loved Grayson during this terrible time.
[Image via Gretchen Rossi/Instagram]