By Miguel Dumaual, ABS-CBNnews.com | 01/12/2013 6:11 PM
MANILA, Philippines -- Until 2007, Anne Curtis had never felt the pain of losing a loved one in her family.
In an interview with "Showbiz Inside Report" aired on Saturday, the 27-year-old actress turned emotional as she recalled the death of her baby sister, Clare, five years ago.
"When she was four months na, she was diagnosed with cardioneuropathy, which has something to do with the heart. For her to have a transplant...you can't find a four-month-old heart anywhere else in the world," she said.
"I remember it so clearly, I was rehearsing for the noontime show back then, tapos tumawag yung dad ko na they're going to take her off the machines na."
Curtis recalled the experience as being "traumatic" since it was the first time she experienced death in her family. She also had to share her father's pain of having "outlived" one of his children.
"I think it was harder for my dad [Australian national James Curtis-Smith], kasi at his age, parang the one thing he kept on saying was, 'It's so hard to outlive your child. So naawa ako," Curtis said.
"Until this day, he always lights a candle for her when we eat kasi parang, hindi niya rin matanggap na 'yung isang anak mo, 'di ba, na-outlive mo."
At the time Clare was suffering from cardioneuropathy, the Kapamilya star was already busy with her showbiz career. But after she learned about the baby's worsening condition, the actress, along with several other half-siblings, gathered in the Philippines to support their father.
Curtis is the eldest daughter of Curtis-Smith with Filipina Carmencita Ojales. Clare is the daughter of the Australian national with his partner after Ojales.
The actress' parents separated when she was 16 years old.
"All of us, all of his children around the world, ang dami namin, we all came to Pampanga to be there for his family. Kasi he hasn't seen 'yung mga ibang anak niya for so long eh," she said.
"My dad said, 'You know the beautiful thing that Clare did? She brought all of us together again'."