Gretchen Rossi Mourns Death of Slade Smiley’s Son Grayson

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Slade Smiley’s 22-year-old son Grayson died on Feb. 5 after a yearslong battle with an inoperable brain tumor. Read on for Gretchen Rossi’s tribute.

In Memoriam: Fallen Stars of 2022

Gretchen Rossi and Slade Smiley are in mourning.

The Real Housewives of Orange County couple shared the devastating news that Slade’s 22-year-old son, Grayson Arroyo-Smiley, has passed away. In a statement posted to Gretchen’s Instagram page on Feb. 7, Gretchen and Slade said they are “beyond devastated and heartbroken” over the loss. 

“He was an Angel on this earth and an incredible warrior…a warrior like no one has ever seen before,” they said. “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.”

Gretchen and Slade—who named their 3-year-old daughter Skylar Gray as a nod to 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 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.”

Grayson died on Feb. 5 after a lengthy battle with diffuse fibrillary astrocytoma, an inoperable brain tumor, according to his mother Michelle Arroyo. He was diagnosed with the condition when he was 6 years old, undergoing chemotherapy treatment and multiple surgeries throughout the following years to lessen the pain and growth of the tumor. 


On Grayson’s website Amazing Gray, which documented his journey, Michelle shared her son’s brain scans appeared “stable” from late 2008 to 2010. She also recalled Grayson waking up every day “with a smile on his face” and ready to ask “‘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.”

In a Feb. 7 Instagram post, Michelle called Grayson’s passing “very unexpected” as he had been “doing much better” since being discharged from a hospital in January for 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 added. “His dog Mo is right at his side as he never left him.”

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