The Son of a Former ‘Real Housewives’ Husband Has Died: ‘We Are Beyond Devastated’

A child holding an adult's hand.

Pixabay Slade Smiley's son has died.

The son of former “Real Housewives of Orange County” star Gretchen Rossi’s husband Slade Smiley has died. On February 7, 2023, Smiley’s ex shared the news on Instagram.

“I’m heart broken to share that my sweet Gray passed away Sunday night,” Michelle Arroyo captioned an Instagram post. She went on to say that the death was “very unexpected” as Grayson had been doing “much better” recently.

Grayson was battling brain cancer after being diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2006, according to Page Six.

On February 5, 2023, Grayson’s heart stopped. Arroyo said that she performed “chest compressions” on her son until paramedics arrived at her home. “When he left for the hospital he looked good and was breathing on his own but his heart gave out again at the hospital,” she wrote. Grayson was 22-years-old.

Here’s what you need to know:

Grayson Smiley Was Diagnosed With Diffuse Fibrillary Astrocytoma

Arroyo kept family, friends, and the public in the loop about her son’s health journey by way of a website called “Amazing Gray” and on social media. On the website, Arroyo previously shared details about her son’s diagnosis, noting that some of his first symptoms were “developmental delays” that began around 2004. He had trouble sleeping — which was fairly normal for him — and then his vision became impaired.

In 2006, Grayson got very sick and he was taken to the emergency room. A doctor ordered a CT scan and a mass was discovered. From there, Grayson had additional tests, including two spinal taps, and then an endoscopic biopsy confirmed that he had a rare tumor called a Diffuse Fibrillary Astrocytoma.

“The statistics say that only 46% of patients will survive this tumor at 4.7 years and 0% will survive at 10 years,” reads a portion of the website. Arroyo remained optimistic throughout her son’s journey and was hopeful Grayson would be the one to change “the long term statistics.”

The last update on the website was dated 2012. Arroyo had shared numerous updates about Grayson on her Instagram account in the time since.

In her most recent Instagram update, posted on January 27, 2023, Arroyo said that Grayson was home from the hospital after a severe illness.

“He is not doing well,” she wrote. “He seems to be getting stronger which is good because he was so weak in the hospital, he could not even try and reposition himself in bed. He cannot sit up on his own or hold his head up for any length of time. The fevers came back today, and time will tell if it is related to hydration or something else because his mineral/electrolytes labs were off today too,” she added.

The Whole Family Is in Shock Following Grayson Smiley’s ‘Unexpected’ Death

Grayson’s death has completely devastated the whole family. Arroyo said that she’s “still in shock and going through the motions” when it comes to the next steps.

Meanwhile, former RHOC star Gretchen Rossi, penned a lengthy tribute to him on her Instagram feed.

“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,” she wrote. “We are beyond devastated and heartbroken over the loss off [sic] Gray. Grayson Arroyo-Smiley was such a special human being,” she continued.

“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,” Rossi’s post continued.

Rossi always had a special place in her heart for Grayson, giving her only child the middle name “Gray” in honor of her husband’s son.

“When it came to the middle name, we really wanted it to have a family tie in… All of the sudden one day, we both kind of looked at each other and we started thinking about [Slade’s] son, Grayson, who is sick. He has been this angel on earth, and he is just this unbreakable, amazing, little man,” Rossi told Access Hollywood in 2019.

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