Grayson Smiley, the 22-year-old son of Slade Smiley, passed away on February 5 after a long fight with an incurable brain tumor. Continue reading for Gretchen Rossi’s tribute.
Slade Smiley and Gretchen Rossi are in mourning.
Grayson Arroyo-Smiley, Slade’s 22-year-old son, passed away, according to the Real Housewives of Orange County couple. Gretchen and Slade said they are “beyond devastated and heartbroken” over the loss in a statement posted on Gretchen’s Instagram page on Feb. 7.
“He was always singing & dancing & laughing despite his circumstances. He was a true beacon of light and hope,” Gretchen Rossi announced the death of her fiancé’s son.
Gretchen and Slade, who named their 3-year-old daughter Skylar Gray in honor of Grayson, continued, “Although his life was cut short on earth, he made an incredible impact on so many people. The Lord knew his life had a 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.”
“This isn’t goodbye, but rather see you soon, little man,” they added. “We love you, Grayson. You will forever be in our hearts.”
According to his mother, Michelle Arroyo, Grayson died on Feb. 5 after a long battle with diffuse fibrillary astrocytoma, an inoperable brain tumor. He was diagnosed with the condition when he was six years old, and he underwent chemotherapy and multiple surgeries over the next few years to alleviate the pain and growth of the tumor.
Michelle shared that her son’s brain scans appeared “stable” from late 2008 to 2010 on Grayson’s website, Amazing Gray, which documented his journey. She also remembered Grayson waking up every day “with a smile on his face” and asking, “‘Mom, what are we going to do for fun today?'” Even after all the surgeries, Michelle said that Grayson’s “biggest complaint was the bad haircut ‘bulb spot’ that his Neurosurgeon gave him.”
Michelle mentioned Grayson’s death as “very unexpected” in a Feb. 7 Instagram post, noting that he had been “doing much better” since being discharged from the hospital in January for a fever and an infection.
“His heart stopped here at home, and I performed chest compressions to get it going until the paramedics arrived and took over,” she wrote, adding that though Grayson “looked good” for a time, “but his heart gave out again at the hospital.”
“I know Gray is playing cards with Gramma and playing Trouble with our beloved Diane,” she Continued. “His dog Mo is right at his side as he never left him.”