Grayson Arroyo-Smiley, Son of Michelle Arroyo and RHOC Star Slade Smiley, Dies at 22 After Battle With Brain Cancer

Grayson Arroyo-Smiley, the son of Michelle Arroyo and Slade Smiley, passed away on February 5th at the age of 22. He was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2006 and was struggling with several other health complications, which ultimately resulted in his untimely death when his heart suddenly stopped.

Arroyo took to Instagram on Tuesday to share the news with her followers. She explained how he had ‘CSF drawn from his shunts’ and had the ‘valve setting of his shunt’ adjusted recently. While his recovery was going ‘much better’ as of late, his mother was forced to perform chest compressions on Sunday. 

“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 boy’s heart,” she wrote in the caption. 

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Michelle Arroyo expressed how shocked she was and is still ‘going through the motions’ as she navigates all the details of her son’s death, but finds solace in the fact that he’s now ‘playing cards with Gramma and playing Trouble with our beloved Diane.’ The heartbreaking post included a photo of Grayson. 

The announcement comes just two weeks after she shared an update on his health. While he seemed to be getting stronger since returning home from the hospital, his best moments came when he was on antibiotics. Once taken off antibiotics, he struggled to stay awake, and his cognitive health was declining. 

They recently started working with an outpatient neurosurgeon to pinpoint why he’s experiencing recurring fevers when taken off antibiotics. “It is so important that we have physicians that will work together to figure this out,” she wrote on Jan. 26, adding it might be an infection, but they’re not sure. 

It hasn’t been easy for Michelle Arroyo, who has stood by her son’s side for the past 22 years. She’s heartbroken over his death and is now left with a massive void in her life as she searches for new meaning. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, who loved him and will miss him dearly. 

Gretchen Rossi Pays Tribute to Grayson Arroyo-Smiley

Also taking to Instagram on Tuesday was Gretchen Rossi, the current fiance of Slade Smiley – Grayson’s father. She expressed how the family knew this day would come eventually, but they continued to hold onto hope that he would pull through and live a long and fruitful life, calling him a ‘special human being.’

“He was an Angel on this earth and an incredible warrior [like] no one has ever seen before. He fought every day through his pain and discomfort to find joy in the smallest of things. He was always singing & dancing & laughing despite his circumstances,” she wrote, calling him a ‘true beacon of light and hope.”

Rossi expressed how grateful they are for the many life lessons they learned from Grayson Arroyo-Smiley and praised him for the many lives he impacted in his shortened life. “The Lord knew his life had purpose and would touch many along the way,” she continued, adding they’ll ‘miss his beautiful spirit immensely.’ 

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She asked the Lord to ‘hold him in his hands, renew his broken body, and give him life again.’ While he is no longer here physically, she wants him to know this isn’t a goodbye but rather a ‘see you soon, little man.’ She ended the post by asking others to respect their privacy as they mourn the ‘unbearable loss.’ 

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